All of the people involved in cases such as this, including parties, judges, juries, and media should be required to read Herbert Packer's The Limits of the Criminal Sanction, as we have already posted about at length previously:
USA Drug Policy Flawed : 2.3 Million in Jail or Prison : Limits of the Criminal Sanction : Portugal Leads Way to Legal Reform & Drug Decriminalization
U.S. Sentencing Commission Proposes Reduced Criminal Penalties for Corporations having Compliance Programs
The Limits of the Criminal Sanction: School Districts and Education, Parents, Children and Teachers
We wrote there (in the first link):
Who out there in the American criminal justice system understands the basic wisdom found in Herbert Packer's Limits of the Criminal Sanction? What lawmaker, government official, judge, prosecutor, or prison official in the United States has ever read Packer's book - much less applied the inexorable legal policy conclusions demanded by it? (see Google Books, this PPT and Packer's Two Models of the Criminal Process)Is there any chance that the often incompetent and unqualified people serving in the U.S. Congress and the legislatures of the world will ever modernize the laws in terms of defining what is truly necessary as a criminal sanction and what is not?
Not every undesirable human action or activity in society is or should be subject to criminal punishments. There are other - more modern - means available to deal with socially undesirable behavior.
Indeed, the primitive idea of jails or prisons as legal solutions for societal problems has been around for millennia. But such jails and prisons, except as a deserved punishment of and/or an effective deterrent of violent and dangerous criminals, are by their very nature as outdated in modern law as the now discredited blood-letting is in modern medicine, which was an accepted medical practice worldwide from the earliest times of humanity down to the late 19th century, a flawed medical practice which surely cost America's first President, George Washington, his life (we quote from the Wikipedia):
"Bloodletting was also popular in the young United States of America.... George Washington asked to be bled heavily after he developed a throat infection from weather exposure. Almost 4 pounds (1.7 litres) of blood was withdrawn ... contributing to his death in 1799."
We are skeptical.